(ZIZ)– A week-long training programme for Primate Petting and Aloe Rub Vendors, facilitated by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, ended on Thursday with the presentation of certificates to each participating vendor.
The workshop was held in an effort to assist vendors in improving their skills and professionalism when providing services to visitors.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Richard Skerritt in remarks at the workshop, outlined the importance of having the vendors trained, not only to enhance the professionalism of each vendor, but also to improve the tourism product in the federation.
“It’s about helping every individual have an opportunity to earn a wholesome and lawful living in the business of tourism while making our visitors have the best possible time and experience,” he said. “We have to find a way to make it work but at the same time, we have to help the business people—the primate petting experts, the monkey vendors, whatever you call it, the beach vendors—all of the various groups that have now developed specialties. We have to help them understand the industry better with respect for each other, help them understand how to do business better and how to thrive in an industry in the midst of competition and with respect for each other.”
Minister Skerritt also took the opportunity to commend the participating vendors for their efforts.
“I’m smiling; my heart is smiling because of what I am seeing here. I’m so happy to see how well presented you are and I’m so happy to see how attentive you are and I know that even if one of you walk out of here as a better business person, as a better individual and as a better enhancer of the visitor experience then it would have been worth it. But I’m smiling because it looks to me like we are going to get 100 percent of that.”
Topics covered during the training included customer service, managing the environment, animal care and managing finances.
The workshop will be held annually and form part of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s programme to develop the non-traditional sector.